First of all, who comes up with these names? “Coronavirus” immediately makes me think of Corona, the beer brand. (#1. I don’t drink beer. #2. Maybe I should be asking where the name for the drink originated.) COVID-19, on the other hand, sounds like a space rocket or an undercover mission of some sort.

“Launching COVID-19. Stand by.”

Also, when I say, “First of all…” be warned it’s about to get deep in here. Obviously. But it’s too late to leave now. You’re here, so stay a while and contemplate deep matter with me. BYOB.

Life feels a bit hazy lately, like living in a dream or maybe The Twilight Zone. Every day is much like the one before it, which gets dull quickly, and yet it’s oddly comforting. For our family, “social distancing” is not a far fetch from regular life. We typically stay home several days a week—the kids and I do. Still, seven days a week (for several weeks in a row) with little or no social contact feels anti-human. Pros and cons, I guess.

Cabin fever is beginning to settle into our bones, and the bones are getting achy. Moods are spasmodic. Toys are well-used and reused; thus, creativity is becoming necessary. The television is 50/50 liked and ignored. Yoga is becoming more of a regular practice, and the elliptical has regained it’s purpose on rainy days—it’s no longer just a lazy place to hang coats. Reading, unfortunately, is difficult with little people constantly underfoot, but I manage a few pages here and there. Meals are slightly repetitive, but we’re not lacking anything, and golly! I’m so sick of cooking and cleaning. Chores are more endless than usual. Plus, the husband is still working ALL the hours at his job and then some, because his work is essential. He won’t get extra time at home with us. (Bless him!)

Through all of this, however, I find myself more grateful, hopeful, faithful, less stressed (overall), and more rested than I’ve felt in a long time. The anti-social, night owl in me LOVES that the schedule has been (mostly) thrown out the window. I finally have an excuse to be right here right now taking life at a doable pace, and it feels nice.

Instead of feeling like the odd-ball, old fashioned, stay-at-home mom living a few centuries too late, I see the entire world now doing what I do daily—staying home and caring for each other. Suddenly, working parents are home-schooling, cooking more meals, and cleaning their own toilets. (The horror!) The non-parents are… Well, I don’t know what they’re doing, but there are moments I imagine I’d like to join them. (Take me with yooou! I’ll bring wine!) I never wish hardships on anyone, but things have definitely slowed world-wide and the tables have slightly turned. I’m okay with it for a while.

Prayer and community seem suddenly more prevalent among the majority of people, too. This must be the good news and possibly the point! The air does feel slightly lighter. Life is more peaceful. We are faith-led. There are incredible examples of fellowship and solidarity everywhere these past few weeks. Perhaps there is glorious light at the end of the tunnel.

This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God,
that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

~John 11:4

(You know the story of Lazarus from Bethany, right?)

I have heard several jokes about the prayers we’ve all said and how God laughed when He answered us with a world-wide pandemic. I don’t believe God created the virus, by any means, but I do believe He allows things to happen, especially when we do it to ourselves. Lesson learned!

Recently, I prayed for life to slow down. I prayed for a quick, happy end to our son’s school year. (It’s been a little rough.) I begged for guidance for our family to be shown our next steps, since we can’t seem to figure out where we’re going or when or how. I prayed for world-wide peace, patience with our grumpy neighbors, more outdoor time with my kids, (i.e. better weather), more sleep, less anxiety, and God’s will be done. And I’ll be darned if every single one of these prayers hasn’t been answered, strangely, through this pandemic. Now I’m praying even more often and with more faith, trust, and perseverance.

We do hope, for many reasons, a cure or end to this virus will come soon. All the suffering and deaths caused from it, the anxiety and hardships created by it, and the shock of major life changes for everyone are not welcome issues. Being unable to go and see and visit and share and love and live and celebrate… The closings of Church doors and so many other familiar, happy places… Feeling stuck or trapped… It can be depressing, sad, lonely. It is slightly darker, in some ways, but we are reaching for the light. We, in this home, are praying constantly for world-wide health, hoping everyone else is praying too. Humans alone cannot fix this mess we’ve created.

Coronavirus may not currently be the deadliest thing among us, but it absolutely adds concern and stress. It is one more obscure, life-threatening problem that we’re fighting with all our best efforts. Go, mankind! This is an opportunity, I believe, to make positive changes. Look up! Unite and conquer!

Dear Coronavirus,

You may leave.
And take Influenza and Cancer with you.

Sincerely and Urgently,

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